Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Synopsis: “For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.“
Lauren Oliver became one of my favorite authors after Delirium so I had some pretty high expectations for this one and I liked this book, I really did. The character development, the flow of events and everything else were really well-planned (or should I say well-thought-through? I don’t know.) and the ending was unpredictable.
Then why did I give the book 3 (and a half) rating?
1. I hated the main character, Sam. I absolutely hated her. First of all, she was hanging out with the wrong people, just to gain a little bit attention? I mean we all want to attract some attention at school or at another place but befriending the actual Regina George (not that Lindsay is a horrible person, but she can still be considered as a bad person) was not something I would do. (There is still the fact that eventually a real friendship was formed, though) As a group they made fun of people because of very basic things or things they don’t have control over. Towards the middle of the book, she started to find making fun of people cruel and didn’t want to do that anymore. This brings me to my second point:
She didn’t do anything to stop her friends from saying those “cruel” things to their “victims”. The only thing she did was talking to the victims (I really don’t want to say victim but I couldn’t find another word) when her friends weren’t around and try to make things at least a bit better, which obviously isn’t as effective as talking to them when her friends are around. (Now that I think of it though, I think I would have done the same? Maybe that’s why I’m so mad at Sam for not actually standing up for the people who are being made fun of. Yo Sam!!111!)
2. I didn’t find the book life-changing or anything like that, unlike others who have read it. I wasn’t really attached to the book. Now I’m asking myself, “Would it have been okay if I didn’t read it?” and the answer is yes,
“It’s funny, isn’t it? When you are young you just want to be old, and then later you wish you could go back to being a kid.”
But I still -somehow- enjoyed the book. The author managed to keep it interesting (because imagine how hard writing the same day over and over and over again would be) with some unexpected events here and there. And don’t even get me started on the ending, I was not expecting that at all and it really, really surprised me.
The character development of Sam throughout the book was impressive, too. She was one of the most popular girls in school and probably a. in order to keep her fame or b. because she didn’t want to be excluded from her group of friends, she said some pretty mean stuff to her schoolmates. At the end of the book, we see that her behavior changed (towards her friends and family) and she becomes a kinder person.
“So many things become beautiful when you really look.”
How the author approached bullying was also one of my favorite things about the book. She not only gave us the perspective of the “bully” (which isn’t something you see often in YA books) but also gave place to the impact bullying has on individuals (both bullies and those who are being bullied) in her book.
So this was an okay book. I’m sure without the main character, the book would have been more enjoyable (but then again, we wouldn’t see a proper character development and the book would lose its whole purpose) that you should read to get an insight into bullying and how our actions and words affect us and people around us.
“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it. But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.”